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Updated: November 26, 2014
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Organisation European Cup Qualifier awarded to Neptunus
LAUSANNE (Switzerland) - The organisation of the one of the two European Champions Cup Qualifying Tournaments for next year has (again) been awarded to Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus. The other tournament will take place in French capital Paris. In that event, L&D Amsterdam Pirates will be the Dutch participant.

...The Neptunus Family Stadium will be the site for...
...the European Cup-Qualifier for the 3rd time...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The announcement was made by the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB), which initially was change the format of the event next year. Instead of having two Qualifying Tournaments, resulting in the two winners meeting in a final for the championship, a single tournament was to take place. However, while that decision had been made, it will come into effect in 2016. That means that next year, the format will be the same as this year and in 2013. In two separate qualifying tournaments, six teams will meet each other. The two tournament-winners then will meet in a best-of-three final for the European Champions Cup. In 2008, the initial format of two separate tournaments was introduced. From 2008 through 2012, the top-2 teams of both tournaments qualified for the Final Four, but that was reduced to only the tournament-winners in 2013.

It will mark the third time since 2010 that Neptunus will organize the tournament. Earlier, the Rotterdam-based club organized the event in 2010 and 2012. However, playing in their own stadium in front of a home crowd, both tournaments weren't successful for Neptunus. In both tournaments, Neptunus suffered surprising losses. In 2010, Neptunus lost 1-0 to Hoboken Pioneers (Belgium) and in 2012, it lost 6-4 to Rouen Huskies (France). This eventually led to a fourth and third place respectively.

Since the new format was introduced in 2008, Amsterdam Pirates has been the most successful Dutch team. It participated in four tournaments and reached the final three times. In 2009, it won one of the tournaments, then finished in fourth place in the Final Four. In 2011, the Amsterdam-squad ended in second place to qualify, then again finished fourth in the Championship-round. In 2012, Pirates again was second in one of the two tournaments, then ended up in third place in the last Final Four. Last year, Amsterdam finished in third place in one of the two qualifying tournaments in the new format.

Neptunus participated in four Qualifying Tournaments since 2008 and never reached the finals. The Rotterdam-squad finished in third place three times (2008, 2011, 2012) and was fourth once (2010).

Besides Amsterdam Pirates, the only other Dutch team to reach a final round was Corendon Kinheim. In 2009, the Haarlem-club finished in second place in one of the tournaments, then was third in the Final Four. In 2008, Kinheim won one of the tournaments, but then withdraw from the Final Four, as traveling to the final was too expensive. Last year, Kinheim finished in second place, but didn't qualify for the final, as it then got a new format in which only the winners qualified.

The only other Dutch team to participate in a Qualifying Tournament was Vaessen Pioniers, which finished in third place in 2010 when it hosted one of the tournaments.

In 2007, when the old format in the European Cup-tournaments was last used, two Dutch teams captured the trophies. Kinheim then won the European Cup, while Neptunus won the Cup Winners Cup.

(November 26)

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